Engage Africa Foundation works with future public health leaders to mentor them in public health as it relates to chronic disease prevention and control. Through their practicums, their grow in their understanding of and ability to contribute to emerging public health challenges. One of those students is Samiah Khan and she will be reflecting on her growth through monthly blogposts.
In February I spent some time interviewing existing (long-term) volunteers with Engage Africa. I had the pleasure of hearing what inspires them and what has motivated them to give up their precious time, for free! The answers were not only interesting but inspiring. Here are a few quotes. “Engage Africa Foundation allows me the opportunity to explore many public health issues that are imminent, it enables me to keep a pulse on emerging public health issues”, volunteer 1. “It allows me to apply much of what I’ve learned in University and makes me feel like I’m applying my learning to a great cause”, volunteer 2. The drive and passion of these induvial is clear and (as reported) what empowers them to meet deadlines on their on-going projects.
This month I work to really tie things together and submit a report that covers the following topics:
1.A Current State Assessment
2.Review of Existing Resources
3.Strategy for Improvement
With one more month to go for the duration of my practicum I will work to spend the next four weeks to refine my research to ensure I have left the organization with a useful tool i.e. a comprehensive report. The experience thus far has enabled me to learn about administrative processes, how to better manage a Board and much more! Stay tuned for next month’s post where I include all that I’ve learned. Feel free to contact me for further details on any of the aforementioned topics.3
One of the guiding principles I utilized throughout the month of February, I’ve included below. It’s a diagram that allows a framework for evaluation students to utilize when assessing any individual issue. Through this framework and best practices that have been researched I’ve provided recommendations to the organization to enhance their administrative process. Many similar organizations ensure they anchor their job descriptions in their mission, vision and values, or standardize even the most minute process to ensure it can be done by anyone and everyone in the organization and lastly one of the most interesting things I’ve come across is creating a ‘workstation manual’ for each position. This would be done by the individual in the current position, they would write down all that their job requires and the exact process in which the tasks need to be completed, this would cover off the organization in times of change.
It is my hope that I am able to take what I am learning in public health through the existing literature as I search for best practices and continue to apply it to Engage Africa Foundation. At the end of March I intend to share a more fulsome report of all that I’ve been able to learn.